Jim Kelly is facing the fight of his life as he prepares for the first round of chemotherapy and radiation to treat his cancer. Originally diagnosed with cancer in his jaw last year, it has aggressively spread, and he has several microscopic tumors in his head.
Jim Kelly, talked about his cancer battle with Peter King on March 31. Kelly is the Hall of Fame quarterback who led the Buffalo Bills to four straight AFC Championships and Super Bowls in the 1990s. Kelly will begins a course of treatment which will include chemotherapy on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Jim Kelly will receive radiation treatments for his cancer.
Using chemotherapy and radiation to treat Jim Kelly’s cancer is necessary at this time as opposed to surgery. Kelly’s cancer is aggressive and has spread dangerously close to the carotid artery in his head. Due to the location of the cancer and the aggressive nature of its progression, if doctors were to operate to remove the cancer and they did not remove all of it, weeks could pass before chemotherapy or radiation could begin.
If all the cancer was not removed it could quickly spread into his brain. Dr. Peter Costantino, the New York oncologist treating Jim Kelly at Lennox Hill Hospital states that Jim Kelly’s condition is “very treatable and potentially curable.”
“If [Dr. Peter Costantion] is saying it, I hope so. I just know that there’s a lot of work to do, to shrink the cancer. I just pray it works. If you hear I’m about to have surgery, then you know it’s working. That’s the goal. But it won’t be an easy operation.”
The type of cancer that Jim Kelly is battling is complex. There is no large tumor in his head, but numerous microscopic ones. This made the cancer difficult to diagnosis. When Kelly began complaining of severe headaches and migraines, doctors ordered further scans of his head and brain. These scans revealed “little spots of cancer” and many of them are “riding up the nerve leading to his brain.”
Jim Kelly, surrounded by his four brothers, his father, his wife Jill and their daughters Erin and Camryn, has survived many hardships and obstacles in his life. But through it all his faith in God is ever present, and Jim Kelly remains “Kelly Strong.”
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